My Mazamet

Life at № 42

A very good blue & Larkin

“A Louis XV ormolu-mounted blue and gilt Vernis Martin bureau en pente. By Pierre IV Migeon, circa 1735-40, the vernis decoration attributed to the Martin Frères. Estimate: £120,000-180,000

The brothers Guillaume and Etienne-Simon Martin were vernisseurs; they worked in lacquer and painted decoration. They had enormous success imitating the lacquer that was coming out of China and Japan, which they produced both for clients and for cabinet makers, becoming so good at it that this style became known as vernis Martin — what we call ‘Japanning’ in English.

This stunning blue bureau is incredibly contemporary — it reminds me of Yves Klein blue — and yet is an early example of the Rococo style, made around 1737.  It’s very rare to see this colour in European japanning — it didn’t exist in oriental lacquer and was rarely produced in Europe. So while this bureau is inspired by the Far East it’s very much a European interpretation of ‘chinoiserie’. Only a handful like this are known of and they very rarely come up for auction, so it’s as collectible as it is decorative.”

Source: French 18th Century Furniture – A Collector’s Guide | Christie’s

That was from two years ago. In case you’re wondering, it made 254 thousand. And the Giacometti from the other day made just under 25 million.

Isn’t the blue just marvellous?

And here’s Aubade by Larkin – I just love that word, aubade.

I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what’s really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
– The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused – nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear – no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anasthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can’t escape,
Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

———————

 

And finally a most wonderful Chet Baker in Belgium in 1964

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43 comments on “A very good blue & Larkin

  1. Chad's Crooked House
    November 1, 2017

    Can you get a 30 year mortgage on it?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. foolsmusings
    November 1, 2017

    Wow it’s beautiful. Can I get one at ikea? :p

    Liked by 2 people

  3. acflory
    November 1, 2017

    I know this is going to betray me as a philistine but…I don’t want it, except perhaps as a piece of jewellery. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 1, 2017

      Really? I’m going through a blue phase – which is a change as my colour’s always been red. How about a more subdued Toulouse Pastel?

      Liked by 5 people

      • kjennings952
        November 1, 2017

        Blue is my favorite color (as it is for most people). It is water and sky, consistency and stability. Sounds just like you! 😉

        Liked by 3 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        November 2, 2017

        LOL – yes, the epitome of stability 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        November 2, 2017

        Don’t hit me but…still too ornate for me. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

      • karenjane
        November 2, 2017

        I feel the same. Both are pretty, but too delicate looking for my taste. The legs look as if they would break easily. being a clumsy person, I tend to look towards for sturdy stuff.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        November 2, 2017

        Or you can do what we do and learn to live with breakage 😀 The other day we were laughing at how many of our things have been “modified” by dogs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        November 2, 2017

        @Karenjane My god…could you imagine hitting one of those legs with the vacuum cleaner :/ Not a piece I could ‘live’ with.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        November 2, 2017

        I promise those things are more solid than they look. Keep in mind they’ve survived a few hundred years and probably a maid or 10.

        Like

      • acflory
        November 2, 2017

        Hmm…that argument doesn’t completely hold water. Part of the reason they’re expensive is that they’re rare, right? Which means lots more didn’t survive those mops and brooms.
        Seriously, would you be comfortable having one of those delicate looking tables in a high traffic area with dogs coming and going???

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        November 2, 2017

        You’re lucky you’re in Australia and I can’t throw that far! 😛

        Like

      • acflory
        November 2, 2017

        -giggles- But you wouldn’t throw something that expensive anyway…would you? -runs-

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        November 2, 2017

        Would too!

        Like

      • acflory
        November 2, 2017

        Tsk, tsk, Pinky! What a waste. :p

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        November 2, 2017

        What’s your furniture style preference, btw?

        Like

      • acflory
        November 2, 2017

        I love living with big, solid, comfortable antiques – lots of warm wood. But my ideal aesthetic would be really minimalist Japanese. I guess my tastes are a bit confused. 😦

        Like

  4. coteetcampagne
    November 1, 2017

    Brilliant post, poem and music
    And I am a massive fan of dark, intense blues as my house will testify.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 1, 2017

      I’ve always liked blues in pottery, but I’m now exploring it in other areas. There’s something happy, almost kind about it.

      Like

      • coteetcampagne
        November 1, 2017

        I always liked blues .
        When I went to art college I was fascinated to find out the origins of all these fabulous blues- lapis lazuli, Prussian, ultramarine, cobalt.
        In fabrics it looks equally wonderful on everything from coarse jutes and linens through silks and glazed cottons to velvets.
        Personally I love it when inclines toward greens, peacock, kingfisher, teal….

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Arkenaten
    November 1, 2017

    Absolutely gorgeous. The perfect place to hide your Gitanes.;)

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 1, 2017

      I’ve been in the mood lately… Maybe I’ll get myself a cigarillo to celebrate not smoking 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arkenaten
        November 1, 2017

        Yeah, that’ll do it!
        Like drinking a double scotch to celebrate one’s first year of not drinking!

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Tish Farrell
    November 1, 2017

    Elegantly graceful, and a fabulous blue, Monsieur En Rose. And aubade is indeed a wonderful word, though I feel Larkin is making more than a bit of misery of it here. He clearly needed more blue on his retina and less in his soul.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. clubschadenfreude
    November 2, 2017

    ah, one of the reasons I look at your blog, such beautiful things. No time in reality to see such things, but it’s grand fun when a friend shows them to me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 2, 2017

      I’m trying to show things that haven’t quite made it into the mainstream consciousness yet 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • clubschadenfreude
        November 5, 2017

        and it is much appreciated. This is the one reason I want to live forever, to see the cool things 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. karenjane
    November 2, 2017

    The price for that gorgeous Giacometti is ridiculous. I’ll never have enough time on earth to save up for one.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. karenjane
    November 2, 2017

    I learn so much from your Blog. Now I know the meaning of aubade, although Google confused me initially as the first few items on it’s list were for a lingerie store.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Helen Devries
    November 2, 2017

    I would like to be able to live with that piece ..it would provide me with constant pleasure – and at least the puppies have gone through the chew everything stage so it would have a chance of surviving intact.
    The Larkin? Hardly in the spirit of ‘Busy old fool….’ is it, but why would I expect it to be. That lumbering, doom laden rhythm bearing death through the night.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Clare Flourish
    November 4, 2017

    Mmm.

    What will survive of us is Love.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Dr Martina Feyzrakhmanova
    November 6, 2017

    This is one of Larkin’s more positive poems! And when I go Japanning, I just wear SuperDry 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Esme upon the Cloud
    November 9, 2017

    Love the words, and ‘aubade’ particularly, which is new to me. I like a bit of Chet Baker too so it all fits quite perfedctly and I’d have that wee writing desk in a shot, it’s enchanting, and I doubt people can truly tell how beautiful it is without seeing and touching it. Clean hands of course, hahahaha.

    – Esme Cloud enjoying herself here again

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      November 10, 2017

      Add some narcotics and wine and we’ve got a party!!! 😀

      Like

      • Esme upon the Cloud
        November 10, 2017

        We would have the most fantabulous party the universe had ever seen if you and I hosted it. This is a plain fact. Hahahahaha.

        – Esme Cloud the hostess with the mostest

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        November 10, 2017

        Indeed, Countess von Cloudski – or is it zu Cloudski?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Esme upon the Cloud
        November 11, 2017

        I would turn twice in the moonlight to swap from Empress into Countess for that one night and become . . . Countess Esmeralda von Cloudski of the Troposhere (excellent heritage, all mad as toast of course)

        – Countess Esmeralda von Cloudski bows and curtsies at the same time (no mean feat)

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on November 1, 2017 by in thinking aloud and tagged , , , , , , .
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